By Ashli Sims, The News On 6
TULSA, OK -- Oklahoma Campaign 2010 is heating up as the primaries draw near.
Voters will head to the polls three weeks from Tuesday. And the group that galvanized opposition to issues like health care reform is trying to channel their newfound political muscle into the voting booth.
Dozens of people gathered at Tulsa Tech Tuesday night for a Tea Party Congress.
They've rallied and marched, flooded town halls and funneled frustration into a national movement. Now the Tea Party is flavoring Tulsa politics.
"Across this country people are fed up, but I am too," Congressman John Sullivan said.
Four-term Congressman John Sullivan has no Democratic rival. But he has five challengers from within his own party. Many of them claim Tea Party ties.
"We've seen Senators and Congressman that have been taken out by the Tea Party movement by the grassroots. And we're going to see that even more here in the local race," said Republican candidate Nathan Dahm. "Even with Congressman John Sullivan. He voted for TARP and that's a career ending move and the Tea Party knows it."
Challenger Nathan Dahm points to Sullivan's yes vote for TARP which approved $700 billion to bail out banks. Congressman Sullivan says that money is being repaid and he's opposed big spending bills like the stimulus package.
"I've been consistently conservative, consistent voting record that I put up with anybody. I think it speaks for itself," Sullivan said. "And I've always been a supporter of what they're talking about."
"Five people recognized that the incumbent has said one thing in the district and did another thing when he went to Washington D.C.," Republican candidate Kenneth Rice said.
But many of these candidates say this race is bigger than any party.
"It's not a Republican thing, it's not a Democratic thing, it's not an Independent thing," Dahm said. It's about big government spending ourselves into oblivion. It's about the bailouts. It's about getting America back on the right footing."
"I'm not running because of party politics. I'm running because I'm an American and I care about this country," Rice said.
Tuesday's event was sponsored by the USA Patriots.